I’m not going to lie - this baking project is stressing me out.

I used to bake occasionally on the weekends whenever I found fun projects I wanted to try out. But HAVING to bake every weekend (and then write about it) is - to be quite honest - making it less fun.

Hear me out: I know writing a short blog post shouldn’t be too complicated. And it’s not. But remember when your mom used to tell you to do your homework which you were already planning to do and her nagging you made you want to do it less? That’s pretty much how I feel with this project. I still write posts in my head throughout the week, but the act of sitting down and transferring the words into a coherent thread with a blinking cursor mocking me is starting to bring me down. Why am I so stressed and frustrated about a few posts that no one is reading besides my parents, anyway? I’m not sure, and maybe it’s “millennial burnout,” but here we are nonetheless.

So, needless to say, short post today.

Week 13: Pull Apart Bread - Chocolate Espresso Babka Muffins

This was the first baking challenge that I was actually, truly satisfied with! These came out AMAZING and I was so proud of them. Still have a few leftover in the freezer :)

Week 14: Layer Cake - King Arthur’s Classic Birthday Cake
I've decided I should be called the forgetful chef. Or the on the fly chef. Every time I cook I realize that I'm out of an ingredient halfway through the process. This time it was vanilla - vanilla! One of the most essential baking ingredients!!! And I had to substitute maple syrup in the cocoa frosting.

I don't have a cake pan and only have one spring form, but this was a layer cake project so I used the spring form twice in a row. Interestingly, the cakes were not identical when they came out of the oven. Think of it as a Science of Food and Cooking lab. The batter for both cakes was made in the same bowl and divided. Like any project, though, there were a few differences.

1. The first cake was cooked at a slightly higher temperature. Our oven temp is wrong, so we sort of have to guess and right now it's about 75 degrees off. The first cake was accidentally cooked at 350 instead of 325.

2. The spring form pan was lined with parchment paper for the first cake but not the second.

3. The batter for the second cake sat on the counter for about 40 minutes while the first cake cooked and cooled.

Honestly, it came out a little dry but the frosting was creamy, rich, and utterly indulgent.

Week 15 & 16: Tart / Botanical Decoration - Geometric Rhubarb Tart
Don’t have a tart pan, used an 8x8 square pan instead. Turned out more like bars than a tart, but still tasty.

writer, editor, self-proclaimed ice cream aficionado

Weeks 13, 14, 15, 16: Pull Apart Bread, Layer Cake, Tarts, Botanical


​​Hi, I'm Rebecca Berland.

Click here for more information on the 2019 challenge.